Almost three million adults aged between 20 and 34 were living with their parents last year, increasing by almost half a million, or 20%, since 1997.
The number of people in this age group was the same in both 1997 and 2011.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that at age 20, 64% of men and 46% of women were living with their parents in 2011.
The increase in the number of young adults living with parents over the past decade coincides with a rise in the average house price paid by first-time buyers, which grew by 40% between 2002 and 2011.
Nicholas Ayre, director of Home Fusion, says property ownership is now a pipe dream for most of today’s young adults while rents have reached astronomical levels.
He says that while renting was once the default option for people who were saving to own their own homes, now it is a luxury.
He says: “For a huge number of today’s young people, the only option, quite clearly, is to live with their parents.
“The root cause of this problem is a lack of supply. There just aren’t enough properties for people to live in.
He adds: “Both the current and previous governments said they would address this pressing issue, but neither has done so.”